Posted by Robert Somers


Mobilegeddon: Small Business Sweats But Big Brands Unfazed

A man's hand typing on a Smartphone

How ready are some of Australia’s best known websites for “Mobilegeddon“?

Our research has turned up some interesting findings.

We’ve discovered several major brands that aren’t prepared for when Google flicks the switch on its latest algorithm update on April 21.

Websites for Pepsi, Jim’s Mowing, The National Basketball League, Cadbury and all Australian Football League clubs failed Google’s Mobile-friendly Test when we put them through their paces this week.

So what? Well, while established brands that people search for by name are unlikely to be impacted by the change, small businesses that rely on being found via keyword searches could be thrown into the abyss and vanish from mobile search results if they don’t act fast.

AFL clubs

Screenshot of Syndey Swans mobile website

While the AFL clubs (hosted by Telstra Media) have websites which are largely optimised for mobile, Google’s Mobile-friendly Tests reports each team’s page as not mobile-friendly.

This is because of a navigation menu placed to the side of the webpage viewport. The feature is actually reasonably user friendly. But the bottom line is that some of the most critical parts of the websites are not visible to Googlebots.


Screenshot of Cadbury mobile website

The Cadbury website also suffers from having content wider than the screen.

Making sure visitors don’t have to scroll sideways to view a page may seem like a no-brainer, but it was one of the most common flags that the Mobile Test threw out.

Adding a simple Viewport meta tag tells browsers how to adjust the dimensions and scaling to suit the size of the screen on which it is being displayed. For more information, Google Developers explain it in detail.


Screenshot of NBL mobile website

There are several red flags with the National Basketball League website. The most prominent issue is the miniscule text.

Text must be readable on all screen sizes or mobile visitors will give themselves headaches trying to read the copy.

Google has clear guidelines for font sizes.

Jim’s Mowing

Screenshot of Jim's Mowing mobile website

The links on the Jim’s Mowing page are too close together. Fingers are much clumsier than mouse pointers and, because of this, Google uses the size and proximity of links as a mobile-friendliness factor.

To make sure your site passes the tap-test, be sure that important buttons have a height and width of at least 7mm (or 48 CSS pixels). You can make less important links smaller, but you need to be sure that there are no other links within 5mm (32 CSS pixels) of them. Again, Google has more detailed instructions on their own developer’s site.


Screenshot of Pepsi website

Not making all pages on a website mobile-friendly is another common mistake.

Google’s “mobile-friendly” badge is awarded on a page-by-page basis. That means if a homepage is a shining example of responsive cross-device beauty but the product page still is full of tiny text, tiny images and tiny buttons, it’s all for nothing

So, when you’re doing your next mobile-makeover, be sure to optimise every page on your site. If you don’t, those internal pages are going to start losing out on all that precious, high-converting mobile traffic.

What is the Mobile-friendly Test?

This tool does just what the name implies. It evaluates your website’s mobile-friendliness. Test results provide specific suggestions for improvements wherever there are problems.

Evaluate your website with the Google Mobile-friendly Test.

Google has also developed an extensive Mobile-friendly Guide and a detailed Mobile Usability Report (Google login required) to help plot a path through the maze to Smartphone-ready websites.

Unsure of how your website stands up to mobile or what you should do to go mobile-friendly? We can help you prepare for April 21.

Related Articles

  1. Australia’s Leading Mobile-friendly Websites Revealed
  2. D-day fast approaching for mobile friendly websites
  3. Mobile Usage Fast Facts

Other Resources

  1. “Mobilegeddon” Is Coming on April 21 – Are You Ready?
  2. Finding more mobile-friendly search results